Malaysian ICT job market recovers in 2017, records higher salary growth

  • Growth expected to be higher in 2018 at 5.4%
  • Advertised jobs for ICT professionals grew 35% to 15,197 in 2017


Malaysian ICT job market recovers in 2017, records higher salary growth


THE ICT job market in Malaysia in 2017 showed improvement in salary growth and higher number of jobs compared to 2016.

The overall average monthly salary of ICT Professionals grew to RM8,908 in 2017, a 5% growth from RM8,484 in 2016. This was a better growth compared to 4.6% in 2016.

The number of advertised jobs for ICT professionals jumped by 35% to 15,197 in 2017 compared with 11, 227 in 2016.

Senior Executive Level positions attracted the most number of advertisements at 7,118 among the five job categories. These were among the findings in the 11th edition of the Pikom ICT Job Market Outlook in Malaysia 2018 launched on July 4.

The 92-page report, a collaboration with, is Pikom’s most comprehensive job market publication since 2007 and attracted 17 industry players as partners.

They are MDEC, Dell EMC, HDC, Ektech, Mykris, Censof, Commerce.Asia, Glocomp, Fire Eye, Dimension Data, Hitachi Sunway, Fusionex, Persol Kelly, Microsoft, Epson, Day Three, and Cis Solucis.

The publication is aimed at helping decision makers in organisations to understand and plan their ICT talent requirements and acquisitions.

The report covers the Economic and ICT Industry Outlook in Malaysia; Salary and Hiring Trends in Malaysia in five Job Categories and 22 Industry Groups as well as Regional Benchmarking Analysis in 20 countries and 82 cities (including four in Malaysia).

For the first time, Pikom has included in this report, Salary and Hiring Trends in six countries in the Southeast and East Asia region taken from sister regional companies in Singapore, Hong Kong, The Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam.

This section shows that Malaysia’s overall average monthly of RM8,908 (US$2,244) is the third highest behind Singapore (US$3,354) and Hong Kong (US$3,049).

Thailand was fourth at US$1,272, The Philippines at US$834, Vietnam at US$746 and Indonesia at 7th place with US$585.

The association has also included the salary trends of ICT professionals in the cyber-security market to highlight the critical need for qualified and skilled professionals to tackle the growing cyber-threats that are crippling organisations worldwide.

The salary trends of the entry level professionals are also a cause for concern as the salary gap between this category and the other four categories especially the senior manager category, continued to widen.

The overall top five paying industries in 2017 was:

  1. Financial Services/ Securities/ Insurance
  2. Call Centre/IT-Enabled Services/BPO
  3. Computer/Information Technology (Hardware)
  4. Banking
  5. Telecommunication

Computer/Information Technology (Software) was the overall top hiring industry for ICT Professionals in 2017, offering 5,686 jobs.

This was followed by Consulting (Business/Technical) industry offering 2,346, Manufacturing/Production at 1,147 jobs, Telecommunication industry at 1,068 and Banking at 906 jobs.

The overall average monthly salary of ICT Professionals in Malaysia is expected to move up further in 2018 to RM9,389, a 5.4% growth, which is still much lower than the 7% average annual growth from 2009 to 2017.

Malaysia’s ranking among 20 countries hardly changed significantly when comparing the salary of an entry level IT project manager using both the Atlas Criterion and Purchasing Power Parity regional benchmarking scales.

“We are projecting that the total ICT contribution to the GDP in Malaysia would grow from RM164.9 billion in 2016 to about RM177.7 billion in 2017. The e-commerce industry is also expected to grow by 12.1%, from RM74.6 billion in 2016 to an estimated RM83.6 billion in 2017 – with e-commerce of non-ICT industry sector to be the bigger contributor at 12.3% growth in 2017 to RM66.3 billion,” said Pikom chairman Ganesh Kumar Bangah.

Pikom’s research committee chair Woon Tai Hai said, “Following the recent changes in the political scene, the GDP growth for the remaining three quarters of 2018 will be closely watched by global economists, investors, industry players and financial institutions.

“Due to both domestic and global factors, Pikom is forecasting a projection of 4.8% for 2018 but is confident that local economy will pick up towards end of 2019 or early 2020 assuming there are no major adverse global factors. We expect ICT industry to continue its upward growth in the coming years.”

Woon added that the ICT industry salary scale in Malaysia must be competitive in the region to mitigate the risk of brain drain of ICT talent, particularly in the cyber-security sector.

“Our entry level salary must be attractive enough to ensure a continuous build-up of ICT professionals in the long run,” he said.


Related Stories:
Tech talent most demanded in Singapore and Malaysia
Pikom: ICT salaries in Malaysia grow at slower pace yet again
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